Clint Eastwood on "Baby"

On the cusp of the Oscars, Clint Eastwood, 74, sat down with his biographer and longtime friend Richard Schickel--who is also a TIME movie critic--to talk about moviemaking, money and the advantages of being a slow learner

HOW DID YOU FIND MILLION DOLLAR BABY? I read the stories. [Producer] Al Ruddy gave me the book, Rope Burns, four years ago and said he had been talking with F.X. Toole, who'd written these great stories set in and around boxing. So I read them and particularly liked Million Dollar Baby. I thought it would be relatively simple. Mystic River had done reasonably well. So I went to Warner Bros., and they said, "We don't think boxing movies are really that commercial now," and I said, "Well, I don't quite see this as a boxing movie." I said it was...

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